Review: The Osprey Flap Jack Courier Bag Makes Me Want To Run Around Naked (Except For The Bag)

Flap jack cover 58

OK, I’ll be the one to step up and admit it: Some of us here at Cult of Mac have a… little problem with bags. We’re bagaholics — and I’m the worst. I even have a bag to hold all my bags. So when I say that Osprey’s Flap Jack Courier is hands-down the best laptop bike bag I’ve ever slung over my back, it’s a big deal.

Hit the jump to find out what exactly makes this bag so stupefyingly fantastic.

The bag in flight.

The Flap Jack in flight.

Rating: ★★★★★


Company: Osprey

Model: Flap Jack Courier

List Price: $79.00

Compatible: up to 17’ laptops; assorted sundry.

Buy Now: The Flap Jack Courier is available from Amazon for $78.95 with free shipping.

Osprey’s bags are are so superbly designed, space-agey and just plain ahead of their time, I’ve often suspected that their designers are escapees from the aerospace industry. The Flap Jack does nothing to diminish my suspicions. Like most of Osprey’s creations, the Flap Jack is very light, feathery to the point of having made me wonder about the bag’s sturdiness — but after a month of heavy use, the Flap Jack is yet to show any signs of wear. The exterior is treated with a water-repellent finish that did a great job of shedding water through a light sprinkling; pity the bag isn’t waterproof though.

Getting into the bag couldn’t be easier. Osprey’s signature zipper pulls — and even the arcs the zippers travel in — are ergonomically perfect.

How does the Flap Jack work as an all-purpose laptop bag? Wickedly. It’s hot looks — check out the pimp cross-hatch design on the shell material — and user-friendly size made it an excellent carry-on during a recent flight. But the Flap Jack really shines (literally) when slung over a shoulder and taken for a spin; I’ve been a cycling fanatic for years, and this is the best commuter bag I’ve spent time with.

Throw in your junk, add a MacBook and haul ass down the road — the Flap Jack remains unflappably stable, in part thanks to the bag being just the right size. The back padding is also the perfect thickness: thin enough to wrap to the contours of my body, but thick enough to insulate from any sharp edges. Other thoughtful nods to cyclists include a light attachment slot, wads of reflective hits and a well-placed side pocket that remains easily accessible even with the bag strapped on.

UPDATE: The Flap Jack Courier handles 17’ MBPs just fine, and isn’t limited to 15’ laptops, as previously stated.

Here’s a visual walk-through of the bag’s clever features:

The bag's padded laptop sleeve comfortably swallows a 15" MBP (13" Macbook in the photo, though) and is suspended above the bag's bottom.

The bag's padded laptop sleeve is suspended above the bag's bottom and comfortably swallows a 15" MBP (that's a 13" Macbook in the photo, though).

The catch-all pocket has slots for pens and small gadgets, while a zippered stash pocket holds the small stuff.

The catch-all pocket has slots for pens and small gadgets, while a zippered stash pocket holds the small stuff.

The brilliant drawstring gasket locks down cargo and adds a level of protection against the elements.

The brilliant drawstring gasket locks down cargo and adds a level of protection against the elements.

Not once did the Flap Jack slip off my shoulder, thanks to just the right amount of grab from the rubberized lettering on the perfectly padded shoulder strap.

Not once did the Flap Jack slip off my shoulder, thanks to just the right amount of grab from the rubberized lettering on the perfectly padded shoulder strap.

The cross-strap can be easily swapped so the bag can be carried on either shoulder.

The cross-strap is easily swapped so the bag can be carried on either shoulder.

At first I thought the extra buckle webbing Osprey included for customization a little lame; but swapping out the webbing is actually kinda fun.

At first I thought the extra buckle webbing Osprey included for customization was a bit janky; but experimenting with the webbing is actually kinda fun.

The zippered side pocket is perfect for stowing sunglasses. Note the swapped out orange buckle webbing; probably makes a bigger splash with the bag's other available colors, black and khaki

The zippered side pocket is perfect for stowing sunglasses and is easily opened even with the bag strapped on. Note the swapped-out orange buckle webbing; probably makes a bigger splash with the bag's other available colors, black and khaki

It's the little things: A cable guide puts a stop to mutinous earphone cables.

It's the little things: This cable guide puts a stop to mutinous earphone cables.

  • Bag manufacturers

    Nice blog ! I like your article and i would like to read it again..and also waiting for the next post.
    For number one quality bag in which You will get quality as well as fashion.
    regards:

    Bag manufacturers

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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Posted in Laptop Bags, Reviews |